– Yesterday the House Energy and Power Subcommittee held a mark-up of H.R. 910, Representative Upton’s (R-MI) Dirty Air Act. The bill passed by a voice vote. This legislation would permanently block the EPA’s ability to regulate carbon pollution and it already has the support of a few moderate democrats- Reps. Peterson (MN), Rahall (WV) and Boren (OK). The bill will be marked up in the full Energy and Commerce Committee next Monday and Tuesday, March 14th and 15th. While the schedule for H.R. 910 is unknown, it is likely that this bill could move to the floor very fast. We encourage groups to voice opposition to this harmful legislation with letters, action alerts etc.
– On Tuesday, in advance of the Senate’s vote on H.R. 1, members of the Environment and Public Works Committee spoke out on the floor in opposition to the bill and its many environmental riders that threaten public health.
– On Wednesday, the Senate voted on two spending bills: H.R. 1 (the House passed spending bill) and the Inouye Substitute Amendment. Both would fund the government for the remainder of the year, but neither bill passed. The clock will run out on the two week compromise that is currently funding the government on March 18th. Negotiations will resume next week and the outcome remains uncertain. The public health and environmental riders will continue to be our central focus.
– On Thursday, eight health groups joined with Chairman Boxer and six Senate colleagues including, Sanders, Cardin, Carper, Merkley, Whitehouse, and Lautenberg to voice concerns about the health impacts of the EPA budget cuts and potential riders in the continuing resolution passed by the House.
2. EPA Proposed Rule for Power Plant Air Toxics:
– March 16 we expect to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) propose an updated air quality standard for life-threatening hazardous air pollution from power plants, such as mercury and arsenic. This Air Toxics safeguard is also called the “Power Plant MACT (Maximum Available Control Technology).” This move by EPA to protect public health will save lives, prevent disease and improve our air and water quality. For more information please see the Sierra Club factsheet.
– On Tuesday, the American Lung Association released Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants. This report documents the range of hazardous air pollutants emitted from coal-burning power plants and the urgent need to clean them up to protect public health. The report details the dangerous mix of toxic air pollutants that flow from the stacks of uncontrolled coal burning power plants and the health harm associated with these pollutants. The report also discusses the technologies that are available for dramatically cutting these emissions—technologies that are commercially available and proven to work. As mentioned above the EPA is required to issue a proposal to cleanup this toxic pollution by March 16.
Protect the Clean Air Act in Congressional Spending Bills
In February, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a funding bill, or Continuing Resolution, that puts the health of millions of Americans at risk while doing nothing to create jobs or grow the economy. Adding insult to injury, they also voted to continue government handouts to wealthy corporate polluters, a move that will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars.
The House bill makes drastic cuts to the EPA’s budget, severely limiting the agency’s ability to protect the health and safety of Americans. And amendments that were added during floor debate will block the EPA from protecting communities from mercury, arsenic, carbon and other air pollution, leaving thousands of children exposed and at risk of slowed brain development and asthma. Thankfully the Senate voted down this harmful bill. Right now Congress is negotiating the bill that will continue to fund the government. Contact your Senators today and tell them to pass a clean bill that allows the EPA to do its job reducing harmful pollution and protects our health not corporate polluters.
Call or Email your Senators Today and Tell Them to Stop Cuts to the EPA’s Authority and Budget! For more information see the action alert with sample email or contact Kate Smolski at email@example.com.
Sign-on Letter in Opposition to H.R. 910
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has circulated a sign-on letter in opposition to H.R. 910 and is looking for additional signers. This reckless legislation puts America’s health, prosperity, and national security at risk by gutting the Clean Air Act, overturning a decision of the Supreme Court, and dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to address life-threatening carbon dioxide and other pollution. To sign on please contact Franz A. Matzner at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday, March 13, 2011 by 11 AM EST.
Tell the EPA You Support Its Efforts to Curb Carbon Pollution!
Recently, the EPA hosted a series of listening sessions to gather stakeholder input on the design of the upcoming New Source Performance Standards for power plants and refineries. These standards, targeting the two largest industrial sources of pollution, would place the first ever limits on greenhouse gas pollutants from these sectors.
Tell the EPA you support their efforts to protect our families from carbon pollution today! See the Sierra Club’s action alert, comment card template or contact Lena Moffitt at Lena.Moffitt@sierraclub.org for more information.
EPA will accept written comments on the planned rulemakings until March 18, 2011. You can also click here for the official instructions on submitting comments. Please note that there will be an official comment period on the rules once proposed.
Sign on to Broad Clean Air Act Support Letter
On behalf of American Lung Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club, we hope you will consider joining a sign-on letter urging Congress to promote protective clean air standards and to oppose any measures to weaken protections for public health. This letter expresses support for standards to protect public health from all kinds of air pollution – toxic, conventional and global warming. The letter will be sent to every member of the U.S. Senate and U.S House of Representatives as well as to President Obama.
1. Please use the Google form to sign-on to the letter. The Google form URL is http://bit.ly/9WaFDN.
2. Once you have signed on your organization, share this note with other groups you work with and ask them to sign on as well.
The deadline is Monday, March 21th. Thank you in advance for your consideration.